(160d) Vapor Cloud Explosion Siting Issues for LNG Facilities

Marx, J. D., Quest Consultants Inc.
Cornwell, J. B., Quest Consultants Inc.

As building siting studies become increasingly important for newly-designed facilities, the primary hazard is often vapor cloud explosion (VCE) overpressures. This is certainly true for liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities, which typically do not have any acutely toxic materials. At these facilities, VCEs and fires are the hazards that define the potential impacts, and the risk, to both onsite and offsite populations. While the approach for facility layout with regard to fires is generally straightforward and handled with fire protection measures, the approach for VCE modeling is not always clear. VCE modeling must demonstrate at what locations potential explosion impacts may affect offsite populations or onsite buildings. This is often accomplished using building damage levels which are correlated to the predictions of produced by a VCE model. This paper discusses some of the challenges involved in using VCE modeling to predict explosion overpressures, specifically in regard to LNG facilities. Both import and export facilities are evaluated in order to demonstrate the important issues with LNG projects.